Life is fleeting

…I learned when I was diagnosed with the Big C a few years back.  Although prognosis was good and I am doing fine today, since that fateful time, I am learning to live life to the fullest and to enjoy every second of it.

Death manages to jolt me every time, whether it is someone close to me or someone I just met.  It gets me pondering over how I’ve lived.  My accomplishments, its significance. Do they really matter?  Am I living my life according to my dreams, my passions?  You know… those kind of (deep) stuff.

Dave Vecella, owner of Beyond the Reef, a soft-spoken, kind man, impressed me with his “ready to serve” attitude.  He concerns himself with little details even driving us around Yap on our last day.  He heard that we had wanted (just for a change) to have lunch one day on a beach between dives, and because that wasn’t possible, he instead arranged to have a barbeque lunch in a park at the end of our day tour.  Wasn’t that sweet?  What a nice guy! He and his staff were the best, ever so attentive and ready to help underwater and above.

One day he was cooking hamburgers for us and 2 weeks later, he was gone.   It was a diving accident, I read on this blog.  (This blog post no longer exist, you may instead go to this blog — edited Jan. 14).  They went deep (on a technical dive) taking with them 2 tanks, leaving the 2nd tank on a slope thinking that they could return there and change tanks before they’d ascend.  Strong currents impeded their return, he was able to help one companion but he sadly didn’t make it.  He died in the Recompression Chamber.  Well, that’s the short version of the story.

I write this because many of us live in the past or for the future when what really matter is the right now.  Not to get me wrong here, I believe that how we live our present life determines our future but we need to learn to smell the roses. Live one day at a time.  I read somewhere that we all have equal time in this world.  No one has more or less.  The difference lies in how we use our time.  Dave lost his life while he was doing what he loved doing.  I believe that he saw his work as a big playground rather than work per se and that’s what I call living each moment.

Life is short.  Live. Love. Laugh. Seize every opportunity to live each moment significantly.  Try not to let life pass you by.  Get up and follow your dreams and you will see that anything you want, you can achieve.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making plans.” – John Lennon

And on that note:  In memory of Dave, here’s a video of our awesome Yap adventure.  This is for you, Mr. Vecella.


3 thoughts on “Life is fleeting

  1. I was diagnosed with the big C around 10 years ago as well and am very lucky to still be alive. This experience inspired me to quit my job and travel the world, together with my partner. Our travels brought us to Yap (Feb 2008) and that is where we met Dave…
    Now, Dec. 2008, we are still traveling and have had so many wonderful experiences but Yap still has to be one of the highlights. Yes, thanks to Dave and his crew we had an amazing under water experience we will never forget..
    I was truly shocked when I learned about his passing away. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.


    (from Amsterdam, Holland. Currently in Olinda, Brazil)


  2. Thanks so much Erwin for your posting and your video. Dave was my youngest first cousin. Just when I would have been getting to know him as an adult/peer, life took us in very different directions; Dave to Yap and a few years later, me to grad school in LA. We stayed in touch via email and I felt so much love from him, but in the midst of my major career transition (5 years of grad school, extended poverty, living on student loans, etc.) I never made it to Yap–always wanting to, always thinking I couldn’t swing it right now, always thinking there would be time. Now there isn’t any more time–but your video took me into Dave’s world and into Dave’s passion in a visceral way, and really helped close the gap. Now I feel as if I’ve been in Yap with Dave. Thanks so much. Dave’s Cousin, Laura


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